What Is Acute Prostatitis?

Acute prostatitis is a sudden inflammation of the prostate gland causing significant pelvic pain. It is a rare type of prostatitis, which is a common prostate problem.

The prostate is a small gland that surrounds a man’s urethra, the tube that takes urine and semen out of the body. The prostate supplies nutrients to semen, performing an important role in reproduction.

Causes

When the prostate gland becomes inflamed, symptoms may be similar to those of an acute urinary tract infection or UTI. In fact, acute prostatitis is often caused by a type of bacteria that causes UTIs and sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, gonorrhoea or mycoplasma.

Inflammation can result from bacteria entering the prostate via the blood or an infection in the area. A medical procedure, like a urine catheter insertion or a cystoscopy(camera test of the urine tract and bladder) may also lead to bacteria entering the prostate.

Underlying causes of acute prostatitis are usually a blocked urethra or a suppressed immune system. In some cases, acute prostatitis may become chronic.

Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of acute prostatitis resemble those of a UTI. They can include:

  • fever

  • pain in the pelvis

  • blood in the urine

  • chills

  • pain above the pelvic bone

  • pain in the rectum, testicles, or genitals

  • pain during urination

  • increased frequency of urination

  • bad-smelling urine

  • pain or discomfort during a bowel movement

  • a weakened urine stream

  • painful ejaculation

  • blood in the semen

  • trouble starting urination

  • difficulty voiding the bladder

Treatment

Acute prostatitis is usually treated with antibiotics. These may need to be taken for 4 to 6 weeks or longer. The type of antibiotic prescribed will depend on the bacteria that is causing the infection.

A doctor may also prescribe medication designed to alleviate symptoms of acute prostatitis. Alpha-blockers may be used to relax the bladder muscles and reduce discomfort. In some cases, a doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers.

A person with a severe case of acute prostatitis may require hospitalization. For example, hospitalization is necessary when the swollen prostrate blocks the urethra. In the hospital, strong doses of antibiotics will be intravenously administered.

Home Remedies

In addition to seeking medical intervention, a person may try to alleviate symptoms with home remedies. These can be used in conjunction with medical treatment.

Home remedies for acute prostatitis include:

  • avoiding activities that put pressure on the prostate, such as bicycling

  • sitting on a cushion

  • reducing or avoiding consumption of spicy foods

  • drinking plenty of fluids that do not contain caffeine

How To Reduce Risk Of Recurring Prostatitis

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  • reducing stress

  • using protection during sexual activity

  • ejaculating at least once or twice a week

  • avoiding processed foods

  • eating a healthful diet

  • protecting against pelvic trauma – with cycling becoming in vogue we are seeing more pelvic trauma from prolonged sitting on bicycles

  • maintaining a healthy weight

Complications

Acute prostatitis may cause a blockage of the urethra. When this occurs, a person will experience pain and discomfort in the bladder. If left untreated, a blocked bladder can lead to permanent kidney damage.

Other complications may include:

  • inflammation of the epididymis, a coiled tube at the back of the testicles

  • bacteremia, a bacterial infection of the blood

  • a prostatic abscess, a pus-filled pocket in the prostate

  • semen abnormalities

  • infertility

Most cases of acute prostatitis will clear up with antibiotic treatment. Some severe cases of infection may require a hospital stay.

There is the chance that acute prostatitis can become chronic. Chronic prostatitis can take on a very protracted course of uncomfortable symptoms like pain with ejaculation, increasing peeing, abdomen and groin discomfort and even burning at the tip of the penis.

Check out our article of Chronic Prostatitis.

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